'Millions of British workers are set to trade in their parking permit for a passport as they plan to take sabbaticals from work. Nearly 5.5 million employees* are currently contemplating their escape from the workplace, according to new research from Direct Line Travel Insurance. And they're set to join the ranks of the three million workers ** who have already temporarily climbed off the career ladder over the past five years.
Attracted by the benefits of working for firms that offer their staff time out, one in four employees (26 per cent) work for a company where sabbaticals are a staff perk. The government, public sector, finance and insurance industries are leading the way (40 per cent of employees working in these sectors are able to take sabbaticals) followed by IT and telecomms (36 per cent) and medicine/health service (25 per cent).
Employees offered sabbaticals by sector:
= 1. Government/ Public Sector (40 per cent)
= 1. Finance/ Insurance (40 per cent)
3. IT/ Telecommunications (36 per cent)
National average (26 per cent)
4. Medicine/ Health Services (25 per cent)
5. Education (24 per cent)
= 6. Travel/ Transport (22 per cent)
= 6. Construction (22 per cent)
8. Retail (14 per cent)
According to the Direct Line Travel Insurance research, wanderlust is the main reason why people are packing their bags - 43 per cent having always wanted to go travelling. However, one in three workers planning a sabbatical say they are looking to take a break from the rat race (30 per cent) and one in four claim to be suffering from burn out (23 per cent). Sabbaticals also appear to make sense for businesses, helping with recruitment and retention. One in four employees (24 per cent) said they would be more likely to work for a firm that offered sabbaticals, with one in three (33 per cent) saying they would be more likely to remain with a firm long-term if they knew they could take a career break. Despite this, not all firms are in favour of sabbaticals. More than one in 10 workers who have taken a sabbatical said that their employer was not supportive, with two thirds (64 per cent) of these revealing their boss had tried to prevent them from leaving. One in three quit their job completely for the freedom of travelling.
Chris Price, Business Manager at Direct Line Travel Insurance comments: "Taking an extended break from work used to be the preserve of a privileged few, but now more and more people are taking time out from their careers to travel. It seems that firms are recognising this desire and are offering sabbaticals as a way of recruiting and retaining the best staff.'
For further information please contact:
Carmel McCarthy / Direct Line Press Office
Notes to Editors:
Research was carried out online between 30 January and 1 February 2007 by YouGov Plc, who questioned a sample of 2,407 adults in Britain. Results are weighted to be representative of the GB population. YouGov is a member of the British Polling Council.
Notes to Editors:
* There are 44.2 million adults in Britain (Office for National Statistics). Sixty nine per cent of adults are in employment of whom 18 per cent are planning a sabbatical (YouGov). Therefore:
44,200,000 x 0.69 x 0.18 = 5,489,640
** There are 44.2 million adults in Britain (Office for National Statistics). Sixty nine per cent of adults are in employment of whom 10 per cent have taken a sabbatical (YouGov). Therefore:
44,200,000 x 0.69 x 0.1 = 3,094,800